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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The National Christmas Tree

President's Park

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
The National Christmas Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 4, 2010
1. The National Christmas Tree Marker
Inscription.  At 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse and “pushed the button” to light the first National Christmas Tree. A crowd of 3,000 witnessed the inaugural lighting of the 48-foot, cut Balsam fir, donated by Middlebury College, Vermont. For the next thirty years, live trees were lit at various locations on or near the White House grounds. Finally, in 1954, the ceremony returned to the Ellipse.

Cut trees served as National Christmas Trees until 1973. It was then decided to plant a permanent live tree. The current National Christmas Tree, a 40-foot Colorado blue spruce was transplanted from York, Pennsylvania, in October 1978. Since President Coolidge began the tradition in 1923, each presidential administration has participated in the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

[Photo captions:]

President Coolidge lights the first National Christmas Tree in 1923.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree ceremony on Christmas Eve, 1941. The Oriental spruce, shown above in the color photograph,
The National Christmas Tree image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 4, 2010
2. The National Christmas Tree
still stands today on the south lawn of the White House.

The National Christmas Tree decorated (above) in 1996. The Colorado blue spruce was transplanted (right) to the Ellipse in 1978.


 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historic Trees marker series.
 
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 38° 53.704′ N, 77° 2.174′ W. Marker was in Downtown, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker was on E Street Northwest west of 15th Street Northwest, on the left when traveling west. Marker is accessible to pedestrians just south of the White House. It is off the sidewalk on the south side of E Street Northwest — at the north edge of the Ellipse in President’s Park. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 1600 E Street Northwest, Washington DC 20005, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. A different marker also named The National Christmas Tree (here, next to this marker); Zero Milestone (within shouting distance of this marker); White House Kitchen Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); South Side (about 400 feet away, measured
The original National Christmas Tree Marker - in the grass on the Ellipse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 4, 2010
3. The original National Christmas Tree Marker - in the grass on the Ellipse

National Christmas Tree
Transplanted October 11, 1978
Christmas Pageant
of
Peace
Committee
in a direct line); White House Ablaze (about 600 feet away); William Tecumseh Sherman (about 600 feet away); Boy Scout Memorial (about 700 feet away); Original Patentees Memorial (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
 
Also see . . .  U.S. National Christmas Tree Blown Down by Heavy Winds. (Submitted on April 1, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryMan-Made FeaturesNotable EventsPeace
 
The National Chanukah Menorah image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 4, 2010
4. The National Chanukah Menorah
at the Ellipse on the 8th night of Chanukah 2010.
The National Christmas Tree - lighting ceremony, 2010 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 9, 2010
5. The National Christmas Tree - lighting ceremony, 2010
The new National Christmas Tree - a 26-foot Colorado blue spruce planted 2011 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 20, 2011
6. The new National Christmas Tree - a 26-foot Colorado blue spruce planted 2011
- note the "original" tree marker in place, lower right.
The National Christmas Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 20, 2011
7. The National Christmas Tree Marker
- note that the frame for the marker panel (lower middle) featuring the previous tree (planted in 1978 and blown down in 2011) is presently empty.
The National Christmas Tree - 2012 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 14, 2011
8. The National Christmas Tree - 2012
National Christmas Tree - signage, 2012 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 14, 2011
9. National Christmas Tree - signage, 2012
"... the living National Christmas tree, a Colorado blue spruce from northwestern Virginia transplanted on the Ellipse on October 27, 2012. ..."
The National Christmas Tree Marker with the National Christmas Tree in the background image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 8, 2017
10. The National Christmas Tree Marker with the National Christmas Tree in the background
2017 National Christmas Tree Music Program image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, December 8, 2017
11. 2017 National Christmas Tree Music Program
 

More. Search the internet for The National Christmas Tree.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 6, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,754 times since then and 55 times this year. Last updated on February 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 6, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4. submitted on December 8, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   5. submitted on December 10, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   6, 7. submitted on December 20, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   8, 9. submitted on December 8, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   10, 11. submitted on December 8, 2017, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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